Health-related quality of life and its association with self-esteem and fatigue among children diagnosed with cancer

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Algamal, E ; Long, T (2016)

Aims and objectives: The aims of this study were to identify the links between self-esteem, fatigue and health-related quality of life for children and young people during and following treatment for cancer.\ud Background: Measures to minimize adverse outcomes for survivors of childhood cancer have been developed, but the crucial periods of returning to school and transition to adult life and adult services are not addressed so well. Screening of quality of life, fatigue, and self-esteem in childhood cancer patients during and after treatment is important for optimizing the nursing response and improving outcomes for children.\ud Design: A cross-sectional, descriptive, correlational, comparative survey was designed.\ud Methods: Validated measures of the attributes being studied were used. This study was conducted in private rooms on the ward and in the out-patient clinic of a major oncology hospital in Jordan in 2015. Seventy children aged 5-16 years were included. Ethical approval was secured.\ud Results: The age range of the children was 5-16 years (mean 10.17, SD 3.4 years). Thirty were girls and 40 were boys. The total quality of life scores ranged from 21 to 100 (m=65.5; SD=17.6). The total scores of fatigue range from 12.5 to 100 (m=65.79; SD=22.20). Children with a high level of fatigue experienced lower quality of life. \ud Conclusion: Continuing education centers at hospitals may find the results of this study helpful to provide professional updates and training events to enhance nurses’ understanding of psychosocial distress responses and ability to intervene effectively within the multi-professional effort.\ud Relevance to clinical practice: The outcomes of this study may enhance the development of guidelines for routine assessment by nurses and others of these factors among children with cancer. The nursing role in ensuring holistic care and attention to the problems of most concern to patients could be strengthened.
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